Methods: A total of seventy-four age and sex-matched healthy asymptomatic subjects were studied. The subjects were assigned randomly to: venipuncture control (n=22), spinal manipulative treatment without cavitation (n=25) or spinal manipulative treatment associated with cavitation (n= 27) groups. Heparinized blood samples were obtained from the subjects before (baseline) and then at 20 minutes and 2 hours post-treatment. Immunoglobulin (antibody) synthesis was induced in cultures of peripheral blood mononuclear cells by stimulation with conventional pokeweed mitogen or by application of human recombinant interleukin-2. Determinations of the levels of immunoglobulin G and immunoglobulin M production in culture supernatants were performed by specific immunoassays.
Results: The baseline levels of immunoglobulin synthesis induced by pokeweed mitogen or human recombinant interleukin-2 stimulation were comparable in all groups. No significant changes in the production of pokeweed mitogen-induced immunoglobulins were observed during the post-treatment period in any of the study groups. In contrast, the production of interleukin-2 -induced immunoglobulin G and immunoglobulin M was significantly increased in cultures from subjects treated with spinal manipulation. At 20 min post-manipulation, immunoglobulin G synthesis was significantly elevated in subjects who received manipulation with cavitation, relative to that in cultures from subjects who received manipulation without cavitation and venipuncture alone. At 2 hr post-treatment, immunoglobulin M synthesis was significantly elevated in subjects who received manipulation with cavitation relative to the venipuncture group. There were no quantitative alterations within the population of peripheral blood B or T lymphocytes in the studied cultures.
Conclusion: Spinal manipulative treatment does not increase interleukin-2 -dependent polyclonal immunoglobulin synthesis by mitogen-activated B cells. However, antibody synthesis induced by interleukin-2 alone can be, at least temporarily, augmented following spinal manipulation. Thus, under certain physiological conditions spinal manipulative treatment might influence interleukin-2 -regulated biological responses.
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